Pune: After a gap of over six years, college students in Pune will get to do an internship with the Pune city police. Police Commissioner Dr K Venkatesham confirmed that the internship programme will start again.
Collegians will get an opportunity to observe and learn about regular activities of the police, while the department believes this will help build a rapport with youths and improve their reputation in society.
Student activist Mohammad Saif of I-Care Students Group had given a letter to police on August 29 to re-start the internship programme. “Such internships would help to serve the purpose of bridging the gap between youths and police department,” Saif added.
The internship programme was first introduced by then police commissioner Meeran Borwankar in 2010. The aim of the project was to increase the basic legal knowledge of students, apprise the policemen about the expectations of the youths and to accept new ideas from young students, especially regarding human resource development and management. Over 6,500 students had completed the internship. Each participating student was issued a certificate under the signature of zonal DCP after completion of the internship.
Dr (Capt) CM Chitale from Savitribai Phule Pune University, who was then one of the members of the team which led the initiative with Pune police shared his experience. “The initiative had a tremendous response from students. Girl students were more enthusiastic to volunteer for night duty. They had told that if boys were waiting till 5.30 am in the morning patrolling with police, then they would also like to stay up till then,” said Chitale, presently Chair Professor of Shatanurao Kirloskar Chair and University Grant Commission’s Emeritus Fellow.
“When we had a feedback meeting with the Pune police, the students shared experiences which they learned during the programme. One of the girl students had stated that until then she would take traffic rules lightly but after working for two hours on traffic signal she realised her mistake. She ensured that she would not repeat the mistake and also make others aware about following traffic rules. Such was the impact,” added Chitale.
He said the aim of the internship was to sensitise young students and create awareness among them about the duties of the police. “There are many traffic violators but most of them are students who don’t follow traffic rules. They don’t wear a helmet, three people ride on the same bike,” said Chitale.
“Working with police makes a positive impact on students. These activities actually empower students and boost their confidence. They also feel proud to be a part of such eventful internships where they able to learn functions of police and are able to reflect in their profile that they have assisted the police in some way,” said Prabhakar Desai, Dean of Students Welfare Department and Director of National Service Scheme.